New Zealand’s largest independently owned and operated hotel group, Scenic Hotel Group welcomes a return to Level 2 in what it hopes will signal a restart to its tourism and hospitality business.

Following a strategic review of New Zealand’s largest independently owned and operated hotel group, Scenic Hotel Group is well poised to lead its people, properties and guests into a ‘re-envisioned future.’ Newly appointed CEO Karl Luxon says, “The best way to predict Scenic Hotel Group’s future is to create it!”

“COVID has caused us to rethink our business strategies together with social and environmental changes, new technologies and other disruptors.” Of these, Luxon considers digital technologies and Environmental Social Governance (ESG) to be at the forefront of these considerations.

“This is a defining time in the history of the hotel and tourism sector to embrace these technologies, social movements, and new learnings gained over the past 18 months. Central to these learnings is finding ways to further enhance the customer experience in more meaningful ways as we welcome them back from the recent hiatus brought about by COVID.”

To enable the ‘Scenic shift’, Luxon has made some critical changes to the leadership team that include two notable internal promotions from the female ranks of the group.

Kelly Watson, who has headed up brand and communications for the group over the last four years, has been promoted to the newly created position of National Marketing Manager. Kelly will continue to oversee brand and communications and develop campaigns and innovative strategies to connect customers and hotels in winning ways.

Melissa Alexander will move from Auckland to Christchurch to take up the position of General Manager of Hotel Operations and Sales. Melissa is a well-known industry identity and popular hotel General Manager having managed several hotels within the group and most recently been responsible for the extensive refurbishment, rebrand and opening of the group’s Airedale Boutique Suites in Auckland.

Chris Clayton, who has been with Scenic Hotel Group for the past six years across the ICT space, moves into the leadership position as Head of IT, Distribution and Digital. In recent years, Chris has been a major driver of the group’s digital transformation. At the heart of this has been a guest-centric digital strategy where the customer experience is paramount.

Airedale Boutique Suites will welcome former Te Waonui Forest Retreat General Manager Richard Bungeroth back to the Group as General Manager of the Auckland property.

Scenic Hotel Group also welcomes highly respected hotel manager Brad Watts to Scenic Hotel Franz Josef where he will focus on the re-opening and tourism rejuvenation of the West Coast properties.

The moves reflect Scenic Hotel Group’s commitment to professional development and promoting people from within the organisation. Luxon believes that the new lineup reflects the priorities of the group and positions it well to forge ahead with both its business and strategic goals.


Media Enquiries:

Kelly Watson
National Marketing Manager
P: 03 357 1941